Just before leaving for a holiday break, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) released regulations removing the rules about incentives for wellness programs effective January 1, 2019 (available here and here). The regulations are not a surprise. They are just implementing the AARP ruling we told you about previously.
As a reminder, the rules being removed only apply under the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) and the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (“GINA”). The separate rules under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (“HIPAA”) continue to apply.
The EEOC is now saying that new proposed rules on incentives under the ADA and GINA will not be released until June 2019, at the earliest. Even that date could shift. As best as we can tell at the moment, the EEOC is without its General Counsel and is still down two commissioners (with a third one’s nomination for a third term a subject of some contention). These absences may delay the release of proposed rules even further.
As we detailed in Rethinking Your 2019 Wellness Program, employers have multiple options in response to the court’s ruling, depending on their risk tolerance. Those options have not changed based on the December regulations. Employers should continue to keep an eye out for the proposed EEOC rules when they are released. HUB International will continue to monitor these developments and update as appropriate.
NOTICE OF DISCLAIMER
The information herein is intended to be educational only and is based on information that is generally available. HUB International makes no representation or warranty as to its accuracy and is not obligated to update the information should it change in the future. The information is not intended to be legal or tax advice. Consult your attorney and/or professional advisor as to your organization’s specific circumstances and legal, tax or other requirements.